St. Armands residents take stand on renourishment


St. Armands residents take stand on renourishment


Date: May 19, 2014
by: David Conway | News Editor



As the proposed renourishment of Lido Beach remains a contested issue, the St. Armands Residents Association has submitted a petition to the city and county indicating that people in the area stand behind the project.

The project, which the city and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers propose, would take sand from Big Pass to renourish critically eroded portions of Lido Beach. Several Siesta Key organizations oppose the project and have voiced concerns about how dredging Big Pass — which has never been dredged before — would affect Siesta.

The Army Corps said preliminary models indicated the effect on Siesta Key would be negligible, and the city expects to receive an updated report from the group next month. The county and the city have both declined to substantively address the issue until that report is finalized.

Still, with organizations signaling their resistance to the proposed project, the St. Armands Residents Association took action to show its support. The group gathered 94 signatures from area residents who believe that following through with the renourishment is critical.

“Lido Beach has suffered severe beach erosion in recent years and is in urgent need of replenishment,” the petition states. “ ... We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge our leaders to act now to authorize the approval and implementation of the (project).”

Residents association President Hugh Fiore submitted the petitions to the city. In a March interview with the Sarasota Observer, Fiore said the group was in favor of the renourishment because Lido Beach serves as an important asset to nearby neighborhoods.

Fiore also said the beach was the economic engine that ensured the success of nearby businesses. If the beach isn’t preserved, he said, the effects would be devastating.

“There would be no hotels if they didn’t have a beach to come to,” Fiore said. “It drives the economic prosperity of the shops on St. Armands Circle.”

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Currently 3 Responses

  • 1.
  • The Army Corps of Engineers is the outfit that proposed draining the Everglades and destroyed massive tracts of native habitat. Ecology and conservation are not their forte'—Nature moves sand about in clear cycles and patterns. Disturbing the these natural processes will always result in disaster. The request of 94 from Lido should not be grounds to move ahead—if it puts the most attractive beach in the county into jeopardy.
  • commenton observer
    Wed 21st May 2014
    at 4:25pm
  • 2.
  • Dredging Big Pass is bad enough, but what the residents of BOTH keys and the city and county governments need to understand is the DEVASTATING effects of building groins / jetties/ seawalls, etc. at the south end of Lido Key will have on Siesta Key. Such structures cause the erosion of sand DOWN COAST OF SAID STRUCTURES. (Remember the Syd Solomon house that fell into the Gulf due to erosion from seawalls? ) The Army Corps seems to want to ignore this "little " problem, even though some states ( North Carolina for one) have totally banned the construction of such structures!! They can fabricate all the reports that they want to, but the bottom line is that this project will ultimately destroy Siesta Key as we know it today. It may take many years to occur, but it will occur. One does not mess with Mother Nature and get away with it!!
  • Liz Harper
    Mon 19th May 2014
    at 8:19pm
  • 3.
  • Lido beach is indeed in trouble, and is the sine qua non for the economic viability of Lido Beach hotels. The Army Corps needs to provide documentation for their statement that the consequences for Siesta Key would be "negligible -data that is essential to answer the critics.
  • lois levin
    Mon 19th May 2014
    at 5:54pm
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